Bush meeting with Paulson on economic crisis

Financial Crisis Posted on

President George W. Bush, freshly returned from economic crisis talks overseas with world leaders, was gathering with his Treasury chief and other Cabinet members Monday to talk about U.S. actions, including a government rescue of Citigroup.

Bush was holding talks at the Treasury Department with Secretary Henry Paulson, and also joining an already-scheduled meeting of members of his Cabinet who are working on greater economic cooperation with China, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

Among the topics on the agenda would be a readout from the president to his top officials on his meeting Friday with Chinese President Hu Jintao that was focused in part on the global economic turmoil.

A presidential statement was planned after the discussions, at 10:35 a.m. EST.

The previously unannounced flurry of activity by Bush comes the morning after his return from a long weekend in Peru for a summit of Pacific Rim leaders. It also comes following the government's agreement to shoulder hundreds of billions of dollars in possible losses at Citigroup and to plow a fresh $20 billion into the troubled company.

Perino said the discussions — and Bush's remarks afterward — would be focused on the broader economic situation, but also on the Citigroup actions. The president has repeatedly sought to defend his administration's unprecedented intervention in the financial markets in recent months, arguing against criticism from some fiscal conservatives by saying that the moves go against his free-market instincts but are necessary because of the dire times.

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